Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Part 1

In the first installment of Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life, Lynne Goldklang introduces Arlene Harder, and the kinds of questions she will help you explore.
You can access the already published posts here.

PREFACE

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your LifeIf you are interested in self-improvement, you are probably not a stranger to questions. Your days are most likely filled with questions. unfortunately, many of those questions are not worded and delivered in ways that foster your progress. They are the nagging voice of the critic — said from you to you with anger, contempt or deep regret. These familiar questions include the following: Why did you do that? Why didn’t you do that? What were you thinking? How could you be so stupid? Why are you so lazy? Why can’t you be successful (or any other word that would fit here) like your friends? What’s wrong with you? Why are you so weak? Don’t you have any will power?

This is a small sampling of how questions are often used to stop us from going forward with confidence or looking backward with compassion so we can understand and learn from past choices.

This book is filled with questions of all kinds. The spirit of the questions is to promote encouragement, compassion, self- understanding and to provide fuel for positive action in the future. These are the questions that lead to forward movement even when looking at the past. These are questions that reveal buried dreams and uncover tools to make them come true.

I met Arlene fifteen years ago when i was very vulnerable, having just recovered from cancer surgery. My prognosis was good but I was shaken and needed to draw strength from others as well as myself. Arlene was donating her time helping cancer patients use the power of the mind through guided imagery to promote wellness. Her way of using language in a positive hopeful way was just what I needed to jump start the next phase of my own recovery. Her warmth and caring was balm for the soul.

We became colleagues and friends, both as psychotherapists and as writers who explore ways to incorporate positive thinking without negating the value of facing the darkness of life head on. I watched in awe as Arlene evolved and turned her talents toward writing and producing websites for seekers of a better life. I watched her practice what she preached to make her own dreams come true in her career and personal life. I saw her courage in the face of illness and adversity. I watched in wonder as she tackled and learned the deepest complexities of the computer so that she could share her information freely with people who use her websites. I watched her websites grow and change to reach more people and benefit humankind on a larger scale.

Now she has taken the best of her material and put it into this amazing book that uses questions as the path toward change. I first read the book as an interested colleague but found that i quickly became an engaged student of the process. This is not just a book to read for inspiration even though that is a strong attribute of the material. Arlene’s commitment is toward active change so that the reader is invited to be constantly involved in a process of self-examination from every angle of life. There is no way you could experience the questions and not be impacted by the process.

Some questions will engage your intellect, some your heart and soul. When a question hits an emotional nerve, you know there is work to do and this book helps you unravel obstacles rooted in the past. if some questions seem unimportant to the point that you want to skip a section, it could mean that you have already done the work but, more likely, you have found an area where you are resisting the process of changing or even understanding your issues around that area. Questions are powerful even when we think they are unimportant to us. it is almost impossible to stay passive when experiencing a penetrating questioning process.

I became aware, as I read the book, of my own passions that I was pursuing in a haphazard style. There was no way I could interact with this book and not begin to focus my goals and dreams. I didn’t feel intimidated. I felt I had a gentle guide encouraging me, appreciating my tiniest efforts while enabling me to find the next step to go forward. I felt empathy for my individual process rather than disdain for efforts that in the past I would have dismissed as unworthy of my potential.

You have most likely come to this book because of your interest in leading the best life you can. This book is a friend that can transport you to new interior adventures, leading to concrete behavior that will change your life to bring it more in line with your dreams and values.

Lynne Goldklang, Co-author of Count It As a Vegetable and Move On and Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul
January 2008


Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life is reprinted here by permission.

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